Chinese New Year: The New Year for the global Chinese Population spread throughout this world. Regardless of whether you’re Christian, Buddhist or Taoist, every Chinese person celebrates this annual occasion with their family. For everyone, it’s a time to meet up with different members of the family. It might be the only time that some relatives can meet up due to career and studies.
For Adults: It’s a great time to reunite with your siblings or your parents.
For the Young Ones: It’s the time to look for a new item you desire to buy after having received the dozens of Ang Bao Money from your parents, grandparents and relatives.
Reunion Dinner, well at least in the Singaporean Tradition: The Yu Sheng that is prepared cannot be eaten until everybody has arrived. I observed the look on my grandma when everyone has arrived to give her oranges as offerings and paying her homage as the Matriarch of the Family.
This is at least my own interpretation or imagination why this has become a Chinese tradition. In Ancient Times, even before our Lord was born, our ancestors were already occupying a vast and powerful Empire. As an Empire, it fought many wars both in offence and in defence of the State. Wars needed men to fight so many of the males willingly enlisted or were press-ganged into the Imperial Army. Whether enlisted or conscripted, being a soldier in the army was a great honour indeed. It was also a dangerous job but someone had to do it. Being a soldier is still the same in all times. When you go to war, there’s a big chance that you may not come back to see your family or your loved ones.
Being soldiers in the Imperial Army, or being soldiers who had been enlisted in the Roman Legions and even the soldiers of today who are still fighting pockets of terrorism in the Middle East: The job while filled with honour and valour is also dangerous and life-endangering. It is always by the grace of God that veterans of the army live to tell the tale when they go back home safely to their families.
All soldiers go home for Chinese New Year, whether in times of war or in peace, and so I tell myself. So when he gets back to his family, the family will throw a feast in honour of him and for his safe return. This soldier might have been gone for months, years even, if he’s a high ranking General directly in the Emperor’s Service and has little time to step out of his office. Most of his time it would be either paperwork or in the BattleField. In times when he cannot go back to his family, he probably feasts with his brothers-in-arms. The few times he can visit his family would be the most valuable treasured moments to spend with them.
Now in this modern era, things are much simpler than before. Everyone can always get to the family gathering every year. Thank God that we live in a time of peace. Happy Lunar New year, everybody!